In Continuous Dialogue: Tracing Memories

Based on a dialogic process, the exhibition brings together works in which the artists deal with their memories, remembering through various events and family relationships. The concept of a person's self is understood to be constructed in interaction with the environment and social relations. The works on display in this exhibition contemplate and reflect on different surrounding relationships and events by inviting visitors to a dialogue. The spatial dimension also offers the opportunity to delve into memories physically, allowing the visitor to concretely descend into the layers of different memories inside and outside the exhibition space. In connection with the exhibition, the artists have been interested in exploring how they can involve the public in the process of making the art works, and the exhibition program has been influenced by this gesture of invitation.This exhibition is the first part of the year-long In Continuous Dialogue 2023 -exhibition project, the second part In Continuous Dialogue II -exhibition will open in Vapaan Taiteen Tila (November 2023).

How does time pass and appear with a newborn? Annaliisa Krage observed the movement of light in the curtains of her balcony window while spending time with her young child. As a result, there will be a painted canvas called Varjoilija, which can be seen downstairs in the gallery together with Annaliisa's new fresco paintings. What was life like, and what kind of relationship networks were built in a small town in Estonia? Kaisa Maasik was interested in her grandaunt Tiu's life story, who was an art teacher in a small Estonian town. As a result of her investigation, she produced an installation work Crazy daisy which consists of Tiu's flower paintings and her own video work. Emma Luukkala's great-grandmother Dagmar Kemilä was a primary school teacher in Käpylä (1916–1954). While going through the archives of Aalto University, Emma found Dagmar's special teaching methods that had been stored there. The students' works and Dagmar's interesting drawing instructions inspired Emma to paint layered flower paintings. Through her work Good Luck, Anna Niskanen wanted to explore and express the feeling of euphoria from her childhood. The special feeling that you experience when you find a four-leaf clover on the ground after squatting for a long time. For this exhibition, she has worked on cyanotype photograms of four-leaf clovers collected by her mother, thus weaving together generations of enthusiasm for preserving memory and happiness.

What kind of events has this gallery floor carried or will carry in the future? Riikka Anttonen has implemented a spatial intervention, modifying the floor of the gallery space. The piece deals with the layeredness, fragility, change and relativity of memories. The way thoughts are mirrored, shaped and left behind. Riikka’s spatial intervention is in a concrete dialogue with the space and the other works in the gallery. By entering the lower floor of the exhibition, the visitor takes part in the dialogue that is generated in the space.

What kind of traces do we carry with us in our bodies? How do these moments affect the present or shape the future? TzeNing Hong was nearby the site of the London Bridge stabbing in 2019. For this exhibition, TzeNing Hong and Eddie Wen Yi Choo have produced a video piece in which they unfold TzeNing's traumatic memory through dialogue, and the video is a starting point for their further investigation on the theme of escape/public space. Hanna Råst's small bronze sculpture invites the exhibition visitor to think about the weight of memories. Memories are often described/referred to in material terms. We carry memories and memories may appear as ballast or gilded from a distance. How are these expressions concretized in the exhibition space?

During the exhibition, visitors can talk with Iiri Poteri about the question of art’s meaning. Iiri will be in the role of an exhibition invigilator in her performance piece Exhibition host investigating how being present will impact experiencing art. Olga Spyropoulou's And this poem like the snow is a durational participatory performance that explores transience, memory and authorship. The audience can participate in its different stages: the creation of the work as well as its editing and erasure.

In addition, discussions and opportunities for participation will be expanded on the website designed in connection with the exhibition. Using the QR code on the gallery door, the visitor can enter the online platform generated by Essi Pellika and Nabil Himich, where they unfold their process through their artwork Attempts in Localisation: a call a is a towards the upcoming In Continuous Dialogue II -exhibition in Vapaan Taiteen Tila (November 2023). Similarly, Joonas Pulkkinen and Noora Lehtovuori elaborate on the tricky questions related to curation in their evolving, discussion-based work Wadup,Curator? appearing online.

This exhibition is the first presentational part of the year-long In Continuous Dialogue 2023 -exhibition project. The project includes two art exhibitions exploring dialogue. Besides the exhibitions there is an evolving website and Instagram account. The aim, in both exhibitions, is to bring light to the different dialogues from where the works are born and evolving, as well as the questions related to theme.

The exhibition project and exhibition have been initiated and curated by artist-curator Noora Lehtovuori. Noora has got acquainted with the artists and their practices through the Monday studio visit -concept, and through these meetings the artists have been invited to the exhibition. Noora has also done studio visits and met artists in Tallinn. The exhibition process is based on negotiation and the exhibition program is built in collaboration. The landscape architect Maija Joensuu has also participated in the spatial design discussions of the exhibition.

Photo: Hanna Råst
Poster: Noora Lehtovuori